State of Connectict Clerical Bargaining Unit Local 196

Retiree Alliance Honors Lois O'Connor

L-R: Council 4 Retiree Chapter Lillian Sewell; AFSCME International Representative Karen Gilgoff; and Lois O'Connor.

The Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans honored Council 4's Lois O'Connor for her continued advocacy on behalf of workers

Chapter President Calvin Bunnell presented O'Connor with the prestigious Kevin Lynch Award at the ARA's annual awards banquet Nov. 15 in Southington. ARA also honored Machinists Union leader Jim Parent with the Charlene Block Award.

O'Connor is a long-time Executive Board member of the Council 4 Retirees Chapter and past President of AFSCME Local 478 (New Haven-area state clerical employees).

In accepting the award, O'Connor reflected on some of her own fights, including the successful campaign to win pay equity legislation for state employees and the state employee lawsuit against Anthem Insurance's demutualization.

She made it clear, however, that groups like ARA are part of a broader struggle for economic justice.

"We don't just concentrate on senior issues. We still worry about the futures of our children and our grandchildren," she said.

In his keynote speech, Council 4 Executive Director Sal Luciano called O'Connor "Connecticut's own Lilly Ledbetter" -- a reference to the Goodyear Tire worker whose fight against pay discrimination resulted in grounbreaking legislation signed into law this year by President Obama.

L-R: Linda Armstrong, Anna Montalvo, Sal Luciano, Roberta Price and Jim LoMonaco.

With four million members nationwide, The Alliance for Retired Americans seeks to enroll and mobilize retired union members and other seniors and community activists into a grassroots movement advocating a progressive political and social agenda that respects work and strengthens families.

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